Sunday, May 28, 2017

Are We Open To "God's Surprises"?

These words from a sermon several years ago are worth contem-plating as we prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit in this season.

"Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control. [We feel more secure] if we are the ones who build, program and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences.

"This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision.

"We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own.

"Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness--God always brings newness--and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel.

"This is not a question of novelty for novelty’s sake, the search for something new to relieve our boredom, as is so often the case in our own day.

"The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfillment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good.

"Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to 'God’s surprises'? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit?

"Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God’s newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new?

"We would do well to ask ourselves these questions all through the day."

~Pope Francis (Homily for Pentecost, 2013)

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